Even when you held me in your arms
It felt like abandonment. Like you were
Never there, inarticulate and withdrawn.
I never heard the words and I begged your
Mouth to utter them. You never could,
You never knew what they meant, what they felt like.
You hadn’t heard them yourself.
I longed for them as a child.
Language meant the world to me.
And when I heard them they came in
A basket with rotten apples.
Untrue, manipulative, sidetracking.
I would stop chasing them.
And I forgot that they existed.
If you cannot say them to me what does that mean?
There are so many dams between us.
I’m swimming to you but your floods hold me back.
I got used to the silence after I expressed them to you.
We cannot look at each other, heads down.
These words should open all doors and yet we are
Standing on two different islands.
“Psyche in the Temple of Love” by Edward Poynter (1836-1919)